UK - The £3bn (€3.5bn) Merchant Navy Officers' Pension Fund (MNOPF) has tasked KPMG with assessing whether Watson Wyatt should continue as its ‘delegated CIO' or whether a new fiduciary manager should be appointed.

A statement issued this morning said KPMG Investment Advisory will investigate on the pension fund's behalf who should manage the next fiduciary management contract once Watson Wyatt's 12-month agreement is up.

MNOPF took a new approach for the UK pensions market last year when it effectively dropped the need for an in-house chief investment officer role and asked investment consultancy Watson Wyatt to become "highly engaged" in its asset management decisions and selections. (See earlier IPE story: Merchant Navy treads fiduciary path)

The pension fund prefers to refer to the duty as the "Delegated Chief Investment Officer" role but it has taken on various guises in the UK pensions market - depending on the investment firm assisting - as implemented consulting, delegated consulting or fiduciary management.

A spokeswoman for KPMG stressed this is part of a new service to help corporates and their pension funds find suitable fiduciary managers, though the consultancy has no interest in entering that market itself.

KPMG will use the expertise of both its Dutch and its UK advisory teams to fulfil the MNOPF mandate.
Andrew Waring, chief executive of MNOPF, introduced the adoption of a fiduciary manager last year as the first major reform to the pension fund, following his arrival in February 2008. (See earlier IPE story: Merchant Navy alters course on ‘no chief exec')

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